Sixty three years ago on Thursday next, my Uncle of legend but not of memory Private First Class John Lawrence Dawber gave the last full measure of devotion to his country as a member of the United States Marine Corps in service during the Korean War.
He was awarded the Purple Heart, the Combat Action Ribbon, the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Korean Presidential Unit Citation, and the Republic of Korea War Service Medal.
He was my Mother's eldest brother.
He was my uncle, and I was named for him, as was my younger brother Lawrence.
Words cannot express the depth of my gratitude to those that followed him into service.
An old Marine once told me of a phrase once scrawled upon the wall of a bunker outside Khe Sahn, in the Republic of Viet Nam.
"To those who have fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know."
I grieve at the idea.
And, a special note to my Uncle John: If you could give Mom a hug for me, I would certainly appreciate it.